Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
ArthurDent

A Night with Hugh Dean, Aspen Amplifier Designer

Recommended Posts

A Night with Hugh Dean, Aspen Amplifier Designer

8pm Wednesday 15th March, visitors welcome.

Willis Room, City of Whitehorse Offices
Maroondah Highway (Whitehorse Road), Nunawading
Melway Map 48 Ref G9
Contact: 9437 1249

 

The name Hugh Dean is synonymous with the Aspen amplifier range. His kit form amplifiers have won many hearts among audio enthusiasts who appreciate a very high standard of sound.

 

The Maya 200 and the SAKSA 85 amplifiers are a culmination of over twenty years innovative design, starting in 1974 with the Glass Harmony. The Maya was conceived in 2015 with a topology breakthrough, which Hugh will attest has brought huge improvements in speed, bandwidth and clarity. This 200W per channel amplifier comprises four discrete stages: Input stage including a feedback node, Voltage Amp stage, Driver stage, and the Output stage which uses a pair of very large 480 watt MOSFETS.

 

Hugh's primary aim in his amplifier design is very low odd order harmonics. The MAYA avoids phase issues with extremely linear first and second stages. With very low THD, less than 0.025% into 200W and very low noise, the Aspen amplifiers have none of that solid state glare.

 

The amplifiers can be bought as a DIY build from a pair of tested and assembled PCB modules, starting at $930 plus GST for the SAKSA 85, and $2200 plus GST for the MAYA 200. Both units can now also be purchased with purpose built full enclosures.

 

An OPPO 105 multi-disc player will be playing the music, while a pair of classic KEF 105/3s will entertain us with their sound. The 105/3 was the first Reference Series Loudspeaker from KEF to incorporate Uni-Q technology. This four way floor-standing speaker embodies several advanced and unconventional design features for its time. Its bass section drivers are mounted within the cabinet in a double coupled-cavity configuration. The combined output of the two woofers is radiated through a front mounted 6" inch diameter port. The D'Appolito array on the front panel is shared with a pair of midrange drivers and a KEF Uni-Q driver, with a concentric 6-1/2" inch cone and a 1" inch tweeter.

 

Midrange bloom, solid state glare, lifeless sound? None of that with Aspen Amplifiers.

 

Nick Karayanis

Program Co-ordinator

 

Ken Tripp
Wise and Wonderful Webmaster
Melbourne Audio Club, Inc.

http://www.melbourneaudioclub.org.au

Edited by KenTripp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be there with my latest Maya 200 in the new enclosure with lots of bling, an Oppo 105 with a 3TB HDD of good music, and a Kef 105/3S.

Should be a good, if not hot, evening.

I can guarantee entertainment on amp design, the nature of the business, and I believe the best sound quality any audiophile has ever heard, tube or SS.

Whitehorse Shire Willis Room, Nunawading, Wed 15th at 7:30pm for a great night.......

 

Hugh

Maya200JR-8.jpg

Edited by AKSA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we're hot Hugh ( @AKSA ) it will only be because of all that foot tapping :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any follow up on this evening?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Any follow up on this evening?

Was an excellent evening - I was seated centre at far back wall and the Willis room is notoriously difficult to get the acoustics right.
The Maya amplifier acquitted itself admirably with a good range of musical genres - very dynamic and natural sound recreating what was recorded .
The Kef speakers had a bit of bass bloom from the room and don't plumb the depths bottom end wise with a rated 50hz range limit so within their limitations a very good performance.
Most I spoke to were highly impressed by Hugh's Maya and he gave an interesting insight to his methodology and painstaking tweaking circuit design wise to arrive at his amps preferred sonic signature .


Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, those were beautiful sounding amps. Hugh gave his usual spiel about the Hiraga-like decreasing distortion curve of his amp, and tried to explain how it sounded more natural than amps that had a very low THD. I suspect that the message was lost on the majority of MAC members, as evidenced by some of the questions. For the record, I agree with Hugh. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Keith_W said:

Yup, those were beautiful sounding amps. Hugh gave his usual spiel about the Hiraga-like decreasing distortion curve of his amp, and tried to explain how it sounded more natural than amps that had a very low THD. I suspect that the message was lost on the majority of MAC members, as evidenced by some of the questions. For the record, I agree with Hugh. 

 

Go Hugh! More info for those interested on decreasing distortion curve from Hiraga and others

http://www.audioxpress.com/article/Musicality-and-Distortion-A-Conversation

regards Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Ken, Evil C, Keith, and Ian!

The night was good and the amp worked beautifully, but I was disappointed with the speakers, not large enough for the room, and somewhat indistinct at low frequencies.  Midrange was very good however, and top end OK.  They were 20 years old, and in this period speakers have hugely improved.

I did try to explain what makes an amp sound good, but I agree, I think most either did not understand, or believe it was not true.  I should not try to explain anything;  my speech issues make it hard for me, and confuse the hell out of the customers.......

The Maya is my best amp yet, in 23 years.  I began with the Glass Harmony in 1994, and have designed, built and sold a lot since, but this is the best.  The only amp that offers my standards of unmatched sound quality with huge reserves of power and drive - and looks the best yet.........

I thank MAC for the chance to display my wares! 

 

Hugh Dean

Aspen Amplifiers P/L

Rosanna, 2017

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Having met you, Hugh, I doubt your speech 'issues' had anything to do with audience comprehension - I would NEVER have known you had any serious health issues leading to you having to completely relearn to speak in just the last few years.

I'd be more inclined to think it would be to do with some of the audience being completely brainwashed by the marketing of numbers - higher power = better, lower distortion = better, no exceptions.

 

In other news, I've still got a Naksa 70 sitting in my study waiting to get hooked into my system. New pre/DAC should be here within the next week or two and then all systems go. Can't wait :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...Not all of us are brainwashed.  Some of us can still think for ourselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...Not all of us are brainwashed.  Some of us can still think for ourselves.

I agree with everything you say - Redmond [emoji51]

Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the price of the Maya 200?

Edited by soundfan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I sell the modules for $2200 plus GST, and the entire plug and play amp is sold for $4,600 plus GST.

I strongly suggest to anyone that they should hear an amp before buying;  and usually offer a cooling off period  in Oz less shipping.  But I'm not a quantity producer so a wait is sadly inevitable.

 

Red, what did you think of the sound, taking account of the old speakers?

 

HD 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard the Maya this morning at Hugh's place. Nothing short of outstanding in my humble opinion and I will make room in my future plans for one. - AJ


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, A J said:

I heard the Maya this morning at Hugh's place. Nothing short of outstanding in my humble opinion and I will make room in my future plans for one. - AJ


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

good to hear.

What was the rest of the setup?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Andrew......  very glad to have met you!

The other system:

Oppo 105 with attached 3TB Western Digital holding a large Music Library

VSonics, my own speaker, two way, 2600Hz 3rd order xover, Transmission Line and SEAS 200mm with Peerless soft dome tweet.

Kaplan cables and absurdly messy rumpus room with anti-room treatment.

HD

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By ArthurDent
      Members Request Night

      7:45pm Wednesday 15th January

      Willis Room, City of Whitehorse Offices
      Maroondah Highway (Whitehorse Road), Nunawading
      Melway Map 48 Ref G9
      Contact: 9437 1249
       
      This month's meeting will be a members request with club members providing the musical program. MAC members are invited to bring along a CD with a favourite piece of music that would appeal to the group. This could be something from their "desert island disc" selection or a recent purchase.
       
      On entry, each member with a CD will be given a slip of paper to write their name on. A table next to the door will have three containers marked: Classical, Jazz and Other. Please put the slip of paper into the appropriate container. When your name is pulled out, you will be offered the opportunity to play your music.
       
      This time, I will allow members to bring a CD for each container. To ensure that as many members as possible can participate, the maximum time for each track will be no more than 5 Minutes. This should get us through plenty of CD's before the coffee break.
       
      The equipment for the night will be a collaboration between myself and your club president. Martin will bring along his 3-way speakers, based on a 10 inch "Peerless" in a bass reflex enclosure and a 4 inch "Scan Speak" mid with a matching Ribbon tweeter. His speakers have received a lot of positive remarks from club members at previous meetings.
       
      Completing the rest of the system will be an OPPO 95 Multi Disc player as the transport, with a CHORD QUTEST DAC. The amplifier will be my 100 watt unit based on a NAIM kit with a high current output stage. This would be a good night for new members as well as the regulars to discover some new music. There's more to HiFi than just the equipment.   
       
      Nick Karayanis, Program Co-Ordinator.
       
      Ken Tripp
      Wise and Wonderful Webmaster
      Melbourne Audio Club, Inc.

      http://www.melbourneaudioclub.org.au
    • By ArthurDent
      Annual DIY-ers

      7:45pm Wednesday 11th December

      Willis Room, City of Whitehorse Offices
      Maroondah Highway (Whitehorse Road), Nunawading
      Melway Map 48 Ref G9
      Contact: 9437 1249
       
      It's that time of the year again when the DIY members get to show off their Hi-Fi projects at the December General Meeting. This year we have two distinct systems to listen to, one based around a full range speaker and the other a conventional 3way box design.
       
      Our first system is a 'one man band' of DIY projects. Mark H has been busy over the year building a number of electronic components. Starting off with the front end, a 'Raspberry Pi' music server running into a homemade DAC, using the AK4497EQ DXD chip. The Grand Fidelity tube preamp in a SRPP (active load), takes care of the analogue signal with its pair of gorgeous looking 6SN7 sphere valves.
       
      The amplifier of choice for the night will be his 180 Watt compact Tripath Class D power amp in a retro looking wood Cheek enclosure. The speakers are also built by Mark, using a single full-range driver the 'Mark Audio' 12P (8") in a slimline mini tower enclosure. With an efficiency of 92dB, these speakers should easily fill the Willis room with plenty of sound.
       
      Our second system for the night is based around the classic looking JBL L 100's. With a 12inch base driver in a sealed box, the speaker comprises of a 4inch Aluminium Midrange from SB Acoustics and a 1inch fabric dome tweeter. All mitre cuts and routering was professionally done to pre finished boards. The idea being, something easy to put together, and no complicated or expensive finishing process.
       
      The speakers will be driven with another Class D power amp based on the 100W Sure Electronics module, with a valve pre amp using a pair of 6j1's. Is there a theme here?
       
      Source material for the night will be from a SACD player. Each system will have an allotted time of 45minutes, to give each presenter plenty of time to explain their gear as well as play some music. Looks like we will have an interesting evening.
          
      Nick Karayanis, Program Co-Ordinator.
       
      Ken Tripp
      Wise and Wonderful Webmaster
      Melbourne Audio Club, Inc.

      http://www.melbourneaudioclub.org.au
    • By ArthurDent
      Rockian Trading and Osborn Loudspeakers

      7:45pm Wednesday 20th November

      Willis Room, City of Whitehorse Offices
      Maroondah Highway (Whitehorse Road), Nunawading
      Melway Map 48 Ref G9
      Contact: 9437 1249
       
      Once again we thank Greg and Yvonne Osborn for providing superb audio equipment to demonstrate some of the recordings we distributed in 2019. As usual Beverley's bazaar will have a selection of recordings for sale to MAC members at special prices, and some particular bargains will be offered from the Rockian Trading catalogue.
       
      As many MAC members know we recorded and produced our own CD of The Delmatics rock and roll band in June and we were privileged to play some of the music live to the members at the July meeting. Although the band members all enjoyed the evening they thought it was the most demanding performance we have made in a very long time. Instead of playing to a room full of dancing people singing along with the familiar songs, we were on stage before a seated audience of audio and record enthusiasts. It was like, "Being under the microscope," according to one band member. It was fun, thank you.
       
      We have almost sold enough CDs to cover our production costs, so further purchases by MAC members will be most welcome And, although it may not be immediately obvious, The Delmatics is an audiophile album. Put the CD on a good, big system, turn it up loud and enjoy what The Delmatics actually sound like live. (And perhaps you can also dance a little.)
       
      As always there have been changes in our industry. Mobile Fidelity have shifted their recorded music output from quantity to quality. Instead of releasing ten or more 180gram LPs and SACDs per annum, this year they have produced three 180gram LPs, about five SACDs, and three One-Step double LP Box Sets. Time at the quality pressing plants has become precious so they are trying to make the best of a limited resource. We are waiting, impatiently for the anticipated release of four more Dire Straits albums.
       
      Cala Records sold-out to another British label that already have distribution in Australia. This meant no more new releases from the label. Cala Records founder, chief conductor and CEO, Geoffrey Simon, has partnered with his brother to return to the Simon family tradition of commercial property building and development. Geoffrey is the son of Leo Simon, the founder of LU Simon Builders Pty Ltd.
       
      NMC continue to supply us with contemporary classical works from The United Kingdom. Besides their own brand they also provide a number of other small independent, modern labels. Some challenging material and some rewarding gems on CD, and recently on LP and compact cassette. Opus 3 Records have released a few new recordings and re-masters from past efforts. These days Jan-Eric is kept busy making and distributing his "Open- Reel Tapes." This is not a format we have really embraced. Open Reel Tape is too limited in Australia and too expensive for normal distribution. Almost all reel-to-reel tape is purchased direct from the producer by the end user.
       
      Thankfully ATMA Classique record and promote a growing list of great Canadian artists and repertoire. Their releases can be very interesting because the Quebecois are reputed to be more French than the French, and the Impressionist composers are interpreted with great passion.
       
      Recent releases from Reference Recordings have provided me with a number of what I classify as "goose-bump" moments. Their recent double LP release of The Dallas Winds performing "John Williams at the Movies" has several such moments and their SACD of the Hermitage Trio performing Rachmaninoff piano trios is passionate Russian virtuosos performing passionate Russian repertoire. And, Reference Recordings have provided me with another "Organ Recording." Several of their releases on Fresh! from RR have also provided some interesting and rewarding listening.
       
      Stockfisch Records from Germany continue to produce interesting new recordings released on both SACD and quality LP. They have also exposed two more "Analog Pearls," gems from the Stockfisch Records tape vaults.
       
      Of particular interest to me is the latest collection of Allan Taylor songs released on his second In The Groove LP. This is of particular interest to me because I recently uncovered, in my own LP library, Taylor's first recording from 1971 titled "Sometimes." His beard is gone, his hair colour has faded and his tone has dropped a full octave.
       
      I thank the club for inspiring me to spend the best part of a week to playing the best recordings released through Rockian Trading this year. I hope to provide MAC members with some interesting listening and commentary.
       
      Rockian Trading continues to supply Mobile Fidelity, Chesky Records, NMC Records, ATMA Classique, Reference Recordings and Opus 3 Records through stores like Readings Books and Music. We also provide audiophile labels to specialist stores like Quality Records in Malvern, Greville Records in Prahran and Audiophile Reference Recordings in Cheltenham, as well as to hi-fi stores like Tivoli Hi Fi in Hawthorn, Audiophile in Heidelberg Heights, Audio Trends in Ringwood and a number of other specialist stores all around Australia.
       
      Ian Hooper - Rockian Trading
            Ken Tripp
      Wise and Wonderful Webmaster
      Melbourne Audio Club, Inc.

      http://www.melbourneaudioclub.org.au
    • By ArthurDent
      B&W 702 S2 presented by 'The Audio Experts'

      7:45pm Wednesday 18th September

      Willis Room, City of Whitehorse Offices
      Maroondah Highway (Whitehorse Road), Nunawading
      Melway Map 48 Ref G9
      Contact: 9437 1249
       
      It has been over two years since the club was presented with a demonstration from the top-of-the-range B&W speakers, the 800 D3's. Back then, we were introduced to a lot of new innovations that has re-invented this model. In keeping with B&W's philosophy of trickle down technology, the new 702 S2 features many of the new technology from the 800 series.
       
      This month we have 'The Audio Experts' aka Whatmough Audio, presenting at the MAC the new 702 S2 floor standing speaker, and its matching bookshelf model, the 705 S2. The speakers will be demonstrated with the same amplifier from PASS LABS the Model 60, while a Marantz KI Pearl SACD player will be playing the tunes.
       
      B&W has used its new 'Continuum' midrange cone in the 700 series, replacing the old yellow coloured Kevlar design, and have included the 'tweeter-on -top' technology seen on the 800 series. Sitting in its own aluminium machined pod, the 25mm 'Carbon Dome' tweeter is decoupled from the cabinet. The 702 S2 is a conventional rectangular box that houses a 150mm Continuum FST Midrange driver that is also decoupled from the main box. A set of three 165mm Aerofoil drivers look after the bass frequencies.
       
      Like the siblings in the 700 series, the 705 S2 features the new carbon tweeter dome that is more rigid than its previous model, with its first breakup mode now reaching out to 47 Khz. Around the back is the B&W characteristically 'dimpled' reflex port. Supplied with the speakers is a pair of foam bungs (full or half) to accommodate various room placements. The main 165mm mid/bass driver is the new silver coloured Continuum design, said to reach down to 45Hz.
       
      With a number of significant upgrades to the new 702/705 models, they offer a taste of the 800-series sound without spending serious money. Will you be putting them on your Christmas list?
       
      Nick Karayanis, Program Co-Ordinator.
              
      Ken Tripp
      Wise and Wonderful Webmaster
      Melbourne Audio Club, Inc.

      http://www.melbourneaudioclub.org.au
    • By ArthurDent
      Hulgich Audio & Holton Precision Audio

      8pm Wednesday 21st August

      Willis Room, City of Whitehorse Offices
      Maroondah Highway (Whitehorse Road), Nunawading
      Melway Map 48 Ref G9
      Contact: 9437 1249
       
      This month we have two interstate companies joining forces to present their Hi Fi products at the MAC. Both have exhibited together at the Melbourne International Hi Fi Show, winning "Best of Show Overall" for 2017 as well as "Best New Comer".
       
      Hulgich Audio is a new speaker company based in Adelaide headed by Nicolas Hulgich (pronounced Eu-Lich), who has spent more than twenty years in both Australia and his native Argentina building speakers with a variety of designs. He will be presenting to the club his statement speaker the 'Duke', with his in-house FTM (Feel The Music) speaker cable and interconnects.
       
      The 'Duke' is a 3-way floor stander designed as a dual enclosure. The upper enclosure houses a 1.2 inch dimple dome tweeter, and a 6 inch midrange made of papyrus fibres. The lower bass enclosure is a ported design that houses a 10 inch woofer also made of papyrus fibres. Hulgich has designed the 'Duke' to have a huge sweet spot and a large sound stage. By applying 'Low Diffraction Baffle Technology' (LDBT) that insures a smooth frequency response whether sitting off or on axis, and 'Coherent Sound Technology'( CST) which provides driver time alignment and phase integration.
       
      Nicolas will be playing his music with a modified OPPO 103 Multi-disc player and a AudioGD R8 Ladder Dac. Amplification is provided by Holton Precision Audio. Based in northern Tasmania, Anthony Holton has been designing and building high end amplifiers that have been demonstrated internationally at the 2018 Paris and Munich Hi-Fi Shows
       
      Anthony will be demonstrating two stereo amplifiers on the night, the Holton One-Zero-Zero Supreme (2x120W into 8 Ohms), and the Five-Zero-Zero Supreme (2x500W into 4 Ohms) with the matching Gain Block One Preamp. On static display will be a Phono Pre, while a 'DC Blocker One' will be used to look after the AC mains. This audio grade conditioner removes DC and filters the noise from the mains.
       
      With two presenters for the night, we are certainly going to have twice the value when it comes to sound quality. Not to be missed.
       
      Nick Karayanis, Program Co-Ordinator.
              
      Ken Tripp
      Wise and Wonderful Webmaster
      Melbourne Audio Club, Inc.

      http://www.melbourneaudioclub.org.au
×
×
  • Create New...